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      05-22-2012, 08:14 PM   #1
DKM3
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-=REVIEW: CiC Retrofit Success Story: A Mike Benvo Production=-

Here's a quick list to sum everything up:
------------------------------------------
Coding
-Angel Eye brightness
-Windows and mirrors up with key
-1/8 of a tank gas alert
-No accept message
-No seat belt chime
-Instant MPG
-True V=

Tuning (http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=695280)
-DCT EURO software
-Vanos timing changes
-Cold start off
-Emissions light off (o2 sensors)
-Sports throttle tweak
-The BENVO treatment to make it an animal

Retrofit
-CiC Unit
-Controller
-Cables (and repining)
-CiC Screen with new TFT
-Hardware activation module
-2012 Premium American Maps

THE STORY
------------------------------------------
Awhile back I bought my M3. It had about 17k on the speed-o and was a 2008. I immediately fell in love with the car after getting over the initial shock, and intimidation that I had just gotten my dream car.

As months went by I got the modding bug which finally culminated in replacing my CCC with a CiC. I contacted Mike (who I also got my intake from) awhile back telling him my interest in attaining a US Spec CiC unit as the Euro one isn’t able to do HD radio out of the box (which sounds better than sirusxm in my opinion). He fluidly gathered the parts and before I knew it my car was ready to go under the knife.









THE START
---------------------------------------
On Saturday morning Mike and I grabbed breakfast before the procedure would start and I found that I genuinely liked hanging out with Mike. You quickly learn two things about Mike 1) he is a great business man (as he does what he says he is going to do) and 2) the man knows his stuff. Though he is overworked he follows through on what he promises.

The retrofit started at about 12:00 noon on a Saturday. After grabbing breakfast with Mike and talking everything out he started disassembling my car like a watchmaker would do to a watch, slow and meticulous. As a testament to his meticulousness Mike had rejected a screen from a supplier which he saw a scratch on. I saw the same screen later and could barely even see it but from it I understood that Mike tries to do what’s best for his clients. Parts started coming off first the vents, AC controller and trim went, second my center console trim with controller and all, third the CCC screen, and fourth the CCC unit itself.















THE INSTALL
---------------------------------------------
At first glance my car had just looked like it had been stripped all in around 15-20 minutes. After the stripping the CiC power cable was repined and video cable secured and ran down to where the old CCC was. The new CiC was then plugged in to test the setup and WHAM my M3 had a CiC to call its own. After the initial test Mike installed my hardware activation module. His soldering joints are professional grade. Next the hardware module was mounted in a perfect place behind the AC controller and then came reassembly. The CiC was hooked up again, screwed in, the center console was reinstalled, the AC controller and AC vents followed. Then came the moment to press START. EVERYTHING worked just as he said it would and HD radio was incredible. I don’t know if it is my imagination or the DSP processor in the CIC but music sounds noticeably better on it than a CCC.
















THE CODING
----------------------------------------------------------
Next coding came along. He made my factory Sirius turner work with it and fixed every little detail needed for my CiC to be in perfect working order. My unit came with 3D maps which are absolutely beautiful. Mike also on good faith threw in a few extra coding options.











THE MAP UPDATE
--------------------------------------------------------
After the coding I began my 2012 maps update with an FSC code that Mike provided me which was SUBSTAINTIALLY cheaper than the ~$300 the dealer would charge + install (or you can do it yourself). Disc 1, 2, & 3 all loaded perfectly. My unit was complete and the experience was over. All and all I was out of there in around 3-4 hours (considering the maps update takes about 2 hours).







THOUGHTS AND RATING
--------------------------------------------------------

If I had to rate my experience with Mike it would be one of satisfaction. The man does what he says he’s going to do, when he’s going to do it, and will work with you till you’re happy. The man is all about details. An example of this was illustrated clearly when he wasn’t happy with how my screen “sat” in its place and spent a good 10 minutes making sure there was no tension on the cable and hooked it to what in my mind is a factory spot (see picture).



Am I a fanboy for Mike? No. Just like I’m not a fanboy for anything or anyone. People and businesses are judged on their performance. A brand is only as strong as the consistency with which it delivers on its promises. Would I trust Mike? Would I go back to him? Would I do future business with him? Absolutely, yes. Mike has made a customer for life here.

I highly recommend Mike if you want a CiC supply/install, tuning, and coding. I apologize but now I have to go blast some AC/DC down the road in my M3 with my perfect CiC just as excited as the day I picked up my car, well almost.

In addition I was also tuned by Mike recently and the difference is HUGE. Mike read my ECU and once again in a detailed fashion tuned my car to my liking. How do you like your throttle response? Do you like your redline at 8300 rpm? These are incredibly simple questions but from Mike’s tuning made the M3 into a completely different animal. My animal unlike all the others. I've got a separate post I'm about to write for it. I'll post the link when it's done.

NEXT UP: Combox retrofit. Mike showed me his new plug and play harness and it's clean!

I’m looking forward to some more coding and more tuning from Mike. If you need a guy in SoCal or the US Mike is your guy.

Mike Benvo Rating 10/10

Last edited by DKM3; 06-03-2012 at 11:04 PM.
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      05-22-2012, 08:21 PM   #2
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Awesome review!!

to Mike!
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      05-22-2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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Awesome review!!

to Mike!
Hey Tech!! Good to see you around buddy. Thanks! AND THANK YOU MR. BENVO!!
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      05-22-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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Nice!
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      05-24-2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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So, tempted on this upgrade... Damn..
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      05-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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amazing, i plan on doing this soon
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      05-24-2012, 04:20 PM   #7
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great review!
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      05-25-2012, 02:20 AM   #8
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question: how much are all the parts to do this? where do you get them from?

can he do remote coding? I'm stationed overseas...
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      05-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotik View Post
question: how much are all the parts to do this? where do you get them from?

can he do remote coding? I'm stationed overseas...
Mike can get you all the parts. PM him.
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      06-10-2012, 02:56 PM   #10
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My turn next!!
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      06-12-2012, 05:11 PM   #11
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My turn next!!
Let me know if you hare planning on having mike come up here.... We can split cost as I want to do a combobox retrofit on my car.
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